What are canvas apps in PowerApps?

Design and build a business app from a canvas in Microsoft PowerApps without writing code in a traditional programming language such as C#. Design the app by dragging and dropping elements onto a canvas, just as you would design a slide in PowerPoint. Create Excel-like expressions for specifying logic and working with data. Build apps that integrate business data from a wide variety of Microsoft and third-party sources. Share your app so that users can run it in a browser or on a mobile device, and embed your app so that users can run it in SharePoint, Power BI, or Teams.

If you don't need a custom design and your data is in Common Data Service (CDS) for Apps, you can automatically generate a model-driven app from your business data and processes. This type of app can model forms, views, and other components, and the default UI automatically adjusts to phones, laptops, and other devices. For more information about this type of app, see Overview of building a model-driven app.

Build an app

To get started, automatically generate an app from one of these sources, among others:

On the PowerApps site, select Start from data, or select a sample app, such as Service Desk or Budget Tracker.

PowerApps site

After you generate an app automatically, customize its default appearance and behavior based on your users' workflows. For example, change which types of data appear, how they're sorted, or even whether users specify a number by typing it or adjusting a slider. Add and customize screens, galleries, forms, and other controls.

After you've generated an app or two automatically and gained some experience with customization, create an app from scratch based on CDS for Apps, Excel, or another data source. By working from the ground up, you gain flexibility in app design, flow, and controls, and you can incorporate a larger variety of data sources.

Share and run an app

When you finish the app and save it to the cloud, share it with others in your organization. Specify which users or groups can run the app and whether they can also customize and share it with additional people in the organization.

Run your own apps - and any apps shared with you - on Windows, in a web browser, or on an iOS or Android device.

Learn more

  • Explore the step-by-step, conceptual, and reference topics in the navigation pane on the left.
  • Work through the self-paced Guided Learning courses.
  • Check out the webinars that you can access on-demand to help you leverage the features and functions of PowerApps.

Share your experience

  • Read and post in the PowerApps Community, where anyone who uses PowerApps can post a question and others can answer. Before you post a question, search the community to see whether your question has already been answered.
  • Submit an idea for how we can improve PowerApps in PowerApps Ideas.
  • Create a support ticket to get technical assistance. If you're a PowerApps administrator for your organization, you can also open a support ticket in the PowerApps admin center.

Next steps